pit (someone or something) against (someone or something else)

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pit (someone or something) against (someone or something else)

To set someone or something into direct conflict, opposition, or competition against someone or something else. She liked pitting men against each other to vie for her affection. The country has pitted itself against the rest of the world with its plan to develop nuclear weapons.
See also: pit, something
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pit someone or something against someone or something

to set someone or something in opposition to someone or something. The rules of the tournament pit their team against ours. John pitted Mary against Sally in the tennis match.
See also: pit
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pit against

Set in direct opposition or competition, as in The civil war pitted brother against brother. This idiom alludes to setting fighting cocks or dogs against one another in a pit. [Mid-1700s]
See also: pit
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

pit against

v.
To set someone or something in competition with or opposition to someone or something else: The civil war pitted brother against brother. The match will pit the two greatest boxers against each other. The grading system pits one student against another and discourages cooperation.
See also: pit
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"We should not undertake something that will pit us against the United Nations.
But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other," said the 37-year-old Williams.
"Even if you try to pit us against the Pakistan People's Party [PPP], we won't fight them."
On Russian interference in US elections, the FBI chief said, "I do think that Russia poses a very significant counterintelligence threat, certainly in the cyber arena, certainly what we call the maligned foreign influence territory, certainly in their presence of intelligence officers in this country." "Foreign influence, malign foreign influence, we usually used to describe the fairly aggressive campaign that we saw in 2016 -- and that has continued pretty much unabated is the use of social media, fake news propaganda, phosphorus photos, et cetera, to spin us up, pit us against each other sow divisiveness and discord, undermined Americans faith in democracy," Wray noted.
"It doesn't, and we won't let smallminded individuals pit us against one a other.
It has historically been used by those in power to divide and pit us against each other, while solidifying their own standing.
'We are struggling to protect 25 million children from terrorist groups, who are against education and other facilities,' Kamal said, adding that enemy was exploiting 'our differences to pit us against each other'.
However, this also requires bringing down the exploitative and divisive capitalist system which seeks to pit us against each other in order to deflect attention away from our true oppressers: the avaricious, corrupt wealth-hoarders at the very top who offer us crumbs from their table.
We already believe we have no chance Were we to meet Germany, Spain, Italy or France They must be rubbing their hands with glee At our pessimistic mentality It really sticks in the craw To recoil from the half of the draw That might pit us against such teams It's really not as bad as it seems For the Germans are not making a fuss About the possibility of playing us The Italians don't approach with dread The prospect of playing England ahead So already we have lost the psychological battle The chance the French cage to rattle Instead of describing the draw as 'nightmare' We should be proud that England's there And let the others complain about The way the draw has panned out So this notion of a nightmare - let's bin it Let's get out there and go and win it!
"These attacks against Secretary Castro are completely unfounded, short sighted and only serve to pit us against each other," said Cristobal Alex, the fund's president.
He is trying to break our solidarity and pit us against each other.
"No mistake over mixing between our anti-Israel Jihad and domestic squabbling for Israel strives to pit us against each other in a deviant struggle," Fayyad warned.